Everyday life is really inspiring, and I just wanted to be really honest with myself and just be inspired by what was going on in my house. I can’t write when I don’t have something in my life that’s inspiring me.
story by Karen Budell
Like the menagerie on the cover of We All Have a Plan, the music of Slicker’s fourth album is a curious mix – a collection of animal noises sprinkled throughout electronic beats, jazz, hip hop, soul and pop in order to create an organic sound best described as future roots.
Slicker, a.k.a. John Hughes – the man behind Chicago’s Hefty Records – said the optimism of electronic music and the progressive and limitless aspect of the genre continually captivated him while growing up. No doubt the 28-year-old son of the iconic ’80s film director of the same name (creator of The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) also drew from the creative energy surging through his home. Listening to Herbie Hancock, Kraftwerk, Sugar Hill and Grandmaster Flash helped, too.
What fuels the creative fire inside him now is his new family life with his wife and two year-old daughter. So it’s fitting that he wanted the new album “to be sort of symbolizing starting new relationships. Everyday life is really inspiring, and I just wanted to be really honest with myself and just be inspired by what was going on in my house,” Hughes said in a telephone interview with Chicago Innerview. “I can’t write when I don’t have something in my life that’s inspiring me.”
Another source of inspiration is his record label. Hughes envisions Hefty Records as a collective of artists who are “building a cohesive little unit” by getting involved with each other’s projects. “Whatever I can do to sort of make that a reality instead of an idealization I like to do,” he said. “I’m just sort of inspired by the idea of a bunch of artists swapping on each other’s tracks and inspiring each other. I’m kind of really drawn to that spirit.”
Lindsay Anderson of L’Altra and Joshua Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv are just two of the players who add inspiration to We All Have a Plan. Along with Retina.IT, the two will showcase their talents this month as part of the bi-monthly “Immediate Action Night” at Sonotheque.
Slicker will also do his thing, and part of that includes throwing demos into his deejay mix in order to “see the way people are vibing off of it. Most everyone I put out [on Hefty] had arrived in the mail, so I really take sending me music seriously,” he said. “I really go overkill on listening to people’s demos…it’s really exciting knowing that, you know, there’s like five other people that heard this. It just feels so fresh.”
And Hughes’ handpicking of a community of musicians who share a similar vision also feels fresh. His plan is definitely in motion.
Slicker :: with L’Altra, Retina.IT, and Joshua Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv :: Sonotheque :: November 5.